Bronze British War Medal, 20383 Private Sidwell Nkoko, South African Native Labour Corps, Basutoland Contingent. From Leribe.
Sidwell Nkoko, one time Lance Corporal, attested for service at Leribe on 24th August 1917.
He served overseas with the SANLC being discharged on 20th September 1918.
He came from Leribe, at the time it was part of the British Crown Colony Basutoland, which today is a Market Town in the Kingdom of Lesotho, the landlocked country.
There were only 2 Sidwell Nkoko traced as alive at the time in South Africa, one born in 1880 and the other in 1892.
He is most likely to be the younger, given the physically demanding job, and would also have been about 15 when the letter below was written, which would line up with the fact that he had a Teacher.
The following letter was recorded in the Sporting Times on 5th October 1907:
“APPLICATION FROM A K**FIR
The following was received recently by a Government Inspector:-
Rhenasterhoek, P.O. Zwagershoaek, Waterberg District, Transvaal
17th July 1906, Inspector of Schools, P.O. Pietersburg.
My Lord –
I have the honour to call your Lordship’s attention to my application.
I herewith beg to apply for my female assistant teacher, Derea Ramuthua, to be granted a Merit Certificate of Standard IV.
She has a private study. I want her to be examined next occasion of your being here.
Please reply urgent.
I have the honour to be,
Your Obedient Servant,
This Sidwell Nkoko, married at the age of 56, to 44 year old Catherina Mapayo, born Masipa in Modderfontein, Germiston, Transvaal.
He married on 22nd May 1948, being a “Fabricksclerk” born in Basutoland.